I'd like to stress that in the steelyard article, I did not mean to promote traditional formal display, but rather I hoped to make an effort to understand it. If we are going to reinvent formal display in a Western cultural context, we would do well to understand the artistic foundations of why Japanese formal display works so well, at least within its own cultural context.
I personally enjoy traditional display, and I seek to deepen my own understanding and appreciation and ability to engage in this sort of display --- but that I agree wholeheartedly with you that for most Western audiences, Japanese traditional display loses the majority of its subtlety in the wash of cultural difference. This is what I was trying to get at in the article when I wrote "To most Western viewers, even carefully planned [traditional] displays will be scarcely distinguishable from (well composed) orientalistic kitsch." The flip side is just as dangerous; I suspect we have all seen a western artist throw together a three-point display that violates most of the principles of successful composition, and yet the artist considers the production a success "because it looks so Japanese."
With my best regards,