Hahn moved to California from the East Coast as a teenager to attend California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC, now CCA). Prior to committing to fine art, she worked in animation and illustration. Her clients included Time magazine, Cosmopolitan, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The New Yorker.
Her father served in WWII in China, over a decade before Hahn was born, collecting cloisonné and sculpture, and avidly photographing rural people and lifestyles. He dreamed of China for the rest of his life, an obsession that affected his daughter.