TROMSO, NORWAY - It's easy to tell when the sun rises or sets in Singapore, even when you are half a world away in Tromso, a northern city in Norway.
Just take reference from an art installation outside the University of Tromso's (UiT) Technology Building, called Dis-position.
The outdoor piece is a collection of 10 street lamps from around the world, which are programmed to be lit up during the hours of night in its city of origin.
The lamps are collected from cities with the busiest airports and largest container ports, including Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and London.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who toured UiT on Wednesday (Oct12) during his state visit to Norway, was shown the art piece, created by Lutz-Rainer Müller and Stian Ådlandsvik, a German and Norwegian art duo.
Dr Tan is the first Singapore head of state to visit Norway, and his six-day visit aims to reaffirm bilateral ties.
He arrived in Oslo on Sunday (Oct 9)and over three days, he met King Harald V who hosted him to lunch and a gala dinner. He also attended a business and a research seminar, and met Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
On Wednesday (Oct12), Dr Tan visited UiT, the world's northernmost university, which focuses on research of the Arctic region.
There, he was given a demonstration of a ship simulator and also briefed about marine bio-prospecting, a scientific field aimed at extracting useful substances from ocean organisms, which can in turn be used to make drugs or enzymes, for example.
He was also hosted at the university's Saami cultural house, called the Ardna, where he met UiT students of Saami origin.
The Saami are an Arctic indigenous community who inhabit the area of Sapmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia's Kola Peninsula. They have their own traditional language, flag and national day.
Dr Tan also met Tromso Mayor Kristin Roymo.
Ms Roymo said: "It's very important that the President is visiting Tromso, especially because Tromso is very important for the Arctic."
"Tromso and Singapore differ when it comes to geography and temperature, but somehow we are also alike when it comes to the... importance of the oceans on society, on people, on wealth and the maritime sector," she added.