By 2000, a new economic powerhouse – China, emerged quietly after laying dormant for nearly half a century under political and economic reforms, and quickly influenced the overall trend and direction of Asia’s economy. Lily Lee started to travel frequently between Taiwan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, and registered Tiandi Lungmen Shanghai Co., Ltd., through which she provided art-consulting services in China. She began living and working in Shanghai in 2002.
In 2003, Tiandi Lungmen successfully signed with Aurora Plaza (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. for the implementation of an art collection project for the Aurora Plaza located in the international financial district in Pudong, Shanghai. The project required two years to complete.
In the spring of 2004, Tiandi Lungmen signed on as art consultant for Beijing Hanhai Auction Co. and Lily Lee founded the Department of Oil Paintings and Sculptures; responsible for its annual spring and fall auctions of 20th century and contemporary oil paintings and sculptures. In November of 2004, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Beijing Hanhai, the department curated a special sale of a group of Chinese realism school paintings, which was extremely well-received by the Chinese art market.
In the same year, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of China’s Economic Reform and Opening Up as well as the 100th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping's birth, the Hong Kong Shui On Group, Hong Kong's Wen Wei Daily, and China Foreign Languages Publishing and Distribution Administration co-published a limited edition of The Story of China's Economic Reform and Opening Up. Lily Lee and her husband, Alan Zie Yongder, were signed on as the art consultant and chief design director respectively.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Lee, graduated from the University of Southern California in 2000, acquired 4 years’ working experience at American Funds in the US, and at Interpro Manufacturing Limited, a design, manufacturing and export company in Hong Kong. In 2004, he joined Lily and Alan in Shanghai to assist in the family business.
In 2005, Tiandi Lungmen signed with Shanghai Tomson Group to curate and install an exclusive art collection project for “Tomson Riviera Towers”, a luxurious apartment building complex in the international financial district in Pudong, Shanghai. The two-year project introduced many famous European artists’ works such as Salvador Dali and Francois-Xavier Lalann into the public areas of the community.
Born in Taiwan and raised in the US, Jeffrey Lee had always been fond of Asian contemporary art. So in the Spring of 2007, with his astute observation and confidence in the Asian contemporary art market, he spearheaded the first ever auction of Asian contemporary art in Beijing, China, which saw lively and often fierce bidding from many overseas buyers. Over 90% of lots were successfully sold in this sale.